Salisbury Plain fire: Fire service's statement in full as blaze rages on today

Large plumes of smoke have been travelling from Salisbury Plain towards Swindon Credit: Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

Residents around Salisbury Plain are being warned to keep their windows and doors closed after 'unimaginable' levels of smoke have been billowing from a huge fire.

Those living the surrounding areas have reported a 'fog-like blanket of smoke' this morning (July 12) after the blaze broke out on land used for military training yesterday afternoon.

It comes as firefighters were unable to attend the fire due to unexploded ordnance in the area and the Ministry of Defence said they were monitoring the spread. The MoD said there was no risk posed to the public.

It comes as the heatwave is continuing today in the South West, with the Met Office also issuing an amber weather which will come into force on Sunday 17 July when temperatures could hit the low-30Cs.

Large clouds of smoke could be seen over the plain yesterday afternoon

This morning, a spokesperson for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "The Service was advised by the military that there was a fire on Salisbury Plain, but we were not required to attend as it was within the impact area, and it is not safe for firefighters to go there due to the risk of unexploded ordnance.

"Last night, we did have four fire engines and two water carriers at a fire on the Plain near Enford, outside of the impact area.

"As of 9am this morning (12 July), we have no resources in attendance as the incident is being managed by our colleagues in the military, but we are liaising closely with them and will continue to offer support.

"If they request it, we may return to the scene if we can safely assist.

"We are aware the smoke plume is travelling some distance, towards Swindon, and would encourage residents to keep windows and doors closed to avoid breathing this in."

Those around Salisbury Plain have reported seeing large clouds of smoke while some say they could even smell the smoke as far as Swindon.

One social media user called Sam wrote: "The smoke from the fires on Salisbury Plain this morning are unimaginable.

"No wind coupled with lots of smoke has created this fog-like blanket of smoke across the whole area - and it stinks.

"Can’t open windows and doors or even go outside due to the smoke."

Another complained: "Wildfires on Salisbury plain have sent the air pollution up to a 10 where I am, and everything reeks of bonfire.

"We’re being advised to keep windows and doors shut. On the hottest week of the year."

Yesterday afternoon, a spokesperson from The Ministry of Defence said: “We are tracking several fires within the Salisbury Plain Training Area and can confirm there is no risk to the public at this time.  

“We are monitoring the fire and maintaining close communications with Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service, who stand ready to assist should the fire spread beyond the impact area.”